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When I decide to ramp up my self-exposure, I always brace myself for a new onslaught of criticism.

I first typed “embrace myself”. That too!

So, what’s been going on recently? Why the new onslaught of criticism?

I noticed a link in my nakedpastor dashboard to a discussion on Reddit… all about me. Trashing me. I found another discussion on Twitter. Again… trashing me. And another one on my nakedpastor Facebook page. Trashing me.

I think this is happening for a couple of reasons:

1. My cartoons seem to be ratcheting up to a whole new level of exposure. They’re getting shared more. Therefore, I’m drawing (no pun intended) more attention.

2. I’m becoming more focused on what it is I do: I love helping people “create a new life beyond belief”.

That’s my new tagline. (I like it for two reasons: It marries creativity with spirituality. That’s cool! But I also like the double-entendre of “beyond belief”… that we can create a new life for ourselves beyond our wildest dreams, and we can also find new life after the deconstruction of our beliefs. That’s cool too!)

Because I’m driven to help people be free (free people free others), I’m making it more front and center of what I’m about and making it more obvious to people. I’m not just an artist, a writer, a speaker, a cartoonist, and a community-facilitator. These all orbit around my desire to help others free themselves.

So, I’m offering people coaching.

Yes, TLS is awesome for providing help to people along with the community support it provides.

BUT… there’s something that happens when I work one-on-one with people. It accelerates their ability to free themselves. It propels them into action with quicker results. They start feeling better sooner. That’s why I’m promoting it.

So, now, instead of just being called a heretic and a danger to the church, I’m also being criticized for preying on people who need help… a charlatan, fake, greedy, superficial, stupid, dangerous, cult-leader. And so on and so on. I’ve always been criticized for selling my art and TLS memberships (“Jesus wouldn’t do that!”) Now I’m being criticized for selling my services.

I was prepared for it. Mentally. But you can never really prepare for the enthusiasm with which people find ways to try to intimidate you, knock you down, question yourself, slander you and damage your already tarnished reputation, and attempt to silence you.

Because that’s what it all comes down to. Doesn’t it? To silence you! Haven’t we learned that even though they might think we’re wrong, we’re to just keep those thoughts to ourselves, because if we publish our unique and independent and free thoughts in any way, they think that gives them permission to silence us.

Don’t let them! Don’t give them that power! Don’t be silenced! Who knows? What you have to offer may make the world a better and more beautiful place.

Peace, my friends!